May 22, 2024
The Ship Canal Bridge encampment has been documented as one of the most dangerous encampments in the region.

Another encampment burst into flames Friday morning near Interstate 5, adding to the 59 additional encampment fires recorded by the Seattle Fire Department (SFD) this month.

Another Seattle homeless fire on @wsdot property off I-5 freeway. The state refuses to sweep them unless there’s a free studio apartment for them. Seattle refuses to send in police to clear because the mayor doesn’t want to deal with it.
Seattle is thriving.
— Jason Rantz on KTTH Radio (@jasonrantz) February 24, 2023

WA Rep. fed up as homeless authority refuses to sweep encampments
This fire occurred just a few days after the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) informed parents of John Stanford International School through a letter about its plans to clear the Ship Canal Bridge encampment, according to KOMO News.
The Ship Canal Bridge encampment— located across both sides of the I-5 express lanes near 42nd Street — has been documented as one of the most dangerous encampments in the region, with six reported fires over the last month.
The encampment houses up to 25 individuals, according to WSDOT officials.
“Let’s start at the premise of they’re breaking the law,” Rep. Andrew Barkis said on The Jason Rantz Show on AM 770 KTTH last week. “That seems to be the key point that we seem to forget here. They’re trespassing, they’re breaking the law. Let’s start there. And then we can wrap around every type of service under the sun to try to help the people, which we should.
“It is very clear that shelter, congregate shelter, any type of housing is what needs to be done to move the folks out of these encampments,” Barkis continued. “So you start one by one, and you do the job. WSDOT has made contact with 500 some odd camps. They’ve only cleaned up between seven and 10, or 11? In the same timeframe, hundreds more have formed.”
Despite the high amount of encampment fires, SFD reported zero major incidents were linked to the fires. According to SFD statistics, 126 total encampment fires have occurred this year. The average of 2.29 encampment fires per day for 2023 is a slight decrease from the 913 encampment fires recorded last year (2.5 average per day in 2022).
G&U: Let churches continue to help the homeless
The Washington state Legislature has a bill, Senate Bill 5332, in committee that would ban encampments within 1,000 feet of schools. The bill would require local governments to remove encampments near schools, banning tiny home villages, RV-safe parking lots, and temporary shelters within the 1,000-foot zone.
This bill comes as a response to the Ship Canal Bridge encampment in particular, as parents, teachers, and local leaders voiced their concerns over safety for the students at John Stanford International Elementary. There have been two reported shootings within the encampment.